Can I sue a recruiting agency for failing to let an employer hire me

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Can I sue a recruiting agency for failing to let an employer hire me

I am currently working as a consultant for a non-profit company via an IT recruiting/consulting firm. The employer is very pleased with my work and wants/needs to hire me as a full time employee. Having worked for decades in this field, mostly via IT consulting firms, I have found that it is customary for most of these companies to allow their non-salaried consultants to be hired by the end clients. Generally, there is a fee if the stint has been short but usually the fee is dropped after 3-6 months and the employer is then free to hire the consultant without having to pay further recruiting fees. In my case, I’ve completed my original 3 month commitment, and have been extended for another month beyond that. If the recruiting company refuses to work out a reasonable deal with the end client, forcing me into unemployment when there is a perfectly willing prospective employer to hire me, do recourse to seek damages from the consulting firm? At that point, they would be

damaging me financially by refusing to allow me to accept the position. Additionally, they would be damaging the client as well because there are important mission critical functions that I am an integral part of. Capable high level technical personnel are in short supply and can take months to find, hire and train. So my leaving pre-maturely could jeopordize these functions. A standard non-compete agreement is in place which prevents me from working for the same client after the end of my contract. So I can’t just quit and then be directly hired by the end client. The consutling firm has to agree to it. It’s worth noting that the end client cannot fund me indefinitely as a consultant so at some point I would have to convert to FTE or leave.

Asked on April 25, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

There are no grounds to sue. You write that there is a "standard non-compere ... which prevenst me from woring for the same client after the end of my contract" unless "the consulting firm has to agree to it." Non-competes are legal, so there is nothing at all wrong with holding you to one; a company does not have to do anything for an employee's or a client's benefit, or to avoid "damaging" either; as long as they do not use intrinsically illegal means (e.g. threats of criminal action) they have a right to look after their own interests and not consent to or facilitate you working for another company; etc. Nothing you have described is illegal or grounds for a lawsuit: they are allowed to act in their own perceived interest, not yours and not their client's, and do not have to be fair or reasonable.


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